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Journal of Biomedicine and Biotechnology
Volume 2012 (2012), Article ID 767369, 8 pages
Research Article

Intrabone Transplant of Cord Blood Stem Cells Establishes a Local Engraftment Store: A Functional PET/FDG Study

1CNR Institute of Bioimages and Molecular Physiology, Section of Genoa, Via De Marini 6, 16149 Genoa, Italy
2Istituto Giannina Gaslini, Largo Gerolamo Gaslini, 16148 Genoa, Italy
3Department of Nuclear Medicine, University of Genoa, Largo R. Benzi 10, 16132 Genoa, Italy
4Department of Hematology and Bone Marrow Transplantation, San Martino Hospital, Largo R. Benzi, 16132 Genoa, Italy
5Department of Mathematics, University of Genoa, Via Dodecaneso 35, 16146 Genoa, Italy
6Advanced Biotechnology Center, Largo R. Benzi 10, 16132 Genoa, Italy

Received 8 May 2012; Accepted 31 May 2012

Academic Editor: Somayeh Shahrokhi

Copyright © 2012 Cecilia Marini et al. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.


Background. Despite advancements in comprehension of molecular mechanisms governing bone marrow (BM) homing of hematopoietic stem cells, cord blood transplant (CBT) suffers from a slow rate of hematopoietic recovery. Intrabone (IB) injection has been proposed as a method able to improve speed of BM engraftment with respect to conventional IV protocols. However, the mechanisms underlying this benefit are largely unknown. Aim. To verify whether IB-CBT determines a local engraftment able to predict the reconstitution of recipient hematopoiesis. Design and Methods. Twenty-one patients with hematologic malignancies received IB injection into both iliac crests of 3 . 2 ± 0 . 6 8 * 107/kg cord blood cells. One month following IB-CBT, PET-CT imaging was performed. Maximal standardized uptake values (SUVs) were assessed in BM of both iliac crests and in all lumbar vertebrae. Results. Maximal SUV within iliac crests was higher than in lumbar vertebrae ( 4 . 1 ± 1 . 7 versus 3 . 2 ± 0 . 7 , resp., 𝑃 = 0 . 0 1 ). However, metabolic activity in these two different BM districts was significantly correlated ( 𝑟 = 0 . 7 , 𝑃 < 0 . 0 0 1 ). Moreover, FDG uptake values within the injection site closely predicted platelet recovery 100 days after IB-CBT ( 𝑟 = 0 . 7 2 , 𝑃 < 0 . 0 1 ). Conclusions. The metabolic activity of injected BM predicts the subsequent rate of hematopoietic recovery after IB-CBT, suggesting a pivotal role of the local engraftment in the reconstitution of recipient hematopoiesis.